By Luke Mayville
Long earlier than "the one percentage" grew to become a protest slogan, American founding father John Adams feared the ability of a category he known as easily “the few”—the wellborn, the gorgeous, and particularly the wealthy. In John Adams and the terror of yankee Oligarchy, Luke Mayville offers the 1st prolonged exploration of Adams's preoccupation with an issue that has a renewed urgency this present day: the way inequality threatens to corrode democracy and empower a small elite. via revisiting Adams’s political writings, Mayville attracts out the statesman’s fears concerning the chance of oligarchy in the US and his specific realizing of the political strength of wealth—a striking and principally forgotten concept that delivers to light up today’s debates approximately inequality and its political consequences.
Adams believed that wealth is politically robust in smooth societies no longer in simple terms simply because cash buys impression, but additionally simply because voters recognize or even sympathize with the wealthy. He concept wealth is robust within the related approach that good looks is powerful—it distinguishes its possessor and activates reactions of approval and veneration. electorate vote for—and with—the wealthy no longer simply because, as is usually acknowledged, they desire to be wealthy sooner or later, yet simply because they esteem the wealthy and undergo their needs. Mayville explores Adams’s idea of wealth and tool within the context of his broader crisis approximately social and financial inequality, and in addition examines his principles approximately how oligarchy will be countered.
A compelling paintings of highbrow heritage, John Adams and the phobia of yankee Oligarchy additionally has very important classes for today’s international of accelerating inequality.
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John Adams and the Fear of American Oligarchy by Luke Mayville